Hero of the Soviet Union

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Hero of the Soviet Union

 

an honorific title in the USSR; the highest degree of recognition for services to the state through the performance of some heroic deed. It was established by a decree of the Central Executive Committee of the USSR on Apr. 16, 1934 (Collection of Statutes of the USSR, 1934, no. 21, art. 168). According to a statute confirmed on July 29, 1936 (Code of Laws of the USSR, 1936, no. 42, art. 357-a), this title is conferred by the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. The Hero of the Soviet Union receives the highest award of the USSR, the Order of Lenin, and is granted a certificate of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet. As a special distinction for those citizens bearing the title Hero of the Soviet Union, a ukase of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR established the Gold Star Medal (Vedomosti Verkhovnogo Soveta SSSR, 1939, no. 28). The medal is presented at the time that the title Hero of the Soviet Union is conferred and the Order of Lenin is awarded. If a Hero of the Soviet Union performs a second feat of heroism, he or she is decorated with a second Gold Star. To commemorate the achievements of two-time Heroes of the Soviet Union, a bronze bust is erected in the Hero’s native locality. For a three-time Hero of the Soviet Union, the bronze bust is put up in Moscow. When a second or third medal is presented it is accompanied by a special certificate of the Presidium.

As of Sept. 1, 1971, the title Hero of the Soviet Union had been conferred upon 12,447 persons, of which 126 had received the Gold Star two or more times (three of them were three-time Heroes of the Soviet Union and one—Marshal of the Soviet Union G. K. Zhukov—had been so honored four times). Of these, 91 were women. The title may be retracted only by the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR.